Green Bay Senior Photographer Photo Tips

How To Get Great Senior Photos!

With many years experience photographing High School Seniors in the Green Bay area, we have learned how we can help make your portraits turn out great!  We have found that the most important things people are looking for when having senior portraits created are:

1.) That they look really good in the portrait, and
2.) They also want the portrait to have some kind of “artistic quality” to it.

That is to say that the photographs themselves to look fantastic, as well as the senior looking fantastic in them. There’s a three dimensional feeling to it, and there’s quality to the light. And his or her personality comes through.  When the senior’s friends and family look at this portrait, we want them to say, “Wow, you look like a million bucks! It’s like you’re going to step right off the paper and speak to me! This photo of you is really great!”

That’s what we strive for with every portraits session we photograph and we are going to do everything we can to help your senior portraits have that special look.  Why? Because we love photographing seniors! It’s what we do with a passion! You want to look fantastic in these photographs, and we are going to help you achieve that!

Here are 10 tips and nuggets of wisdom we have learned in our years in business that we would like to share with you on how we make great senior portraits for our clients.

Many of the families we have created senior portraits for in the past have commented that this information was helpful in the process of selecting a senior portrait photographer.  We feel they will help your portraits turn out amazing!

#1 Wearing the right clothes

Even if the senior were a professional model, he or she still wouldn’t know what to wear that would help him or her look the very best in a still photo. The “Art Director” would say what to wear. The “model” would just show up, and do what their told.  The hair person does the hair. The Art Director plans everything and tells the subject what to do next.

You see, people don’t know what really photographs well. They just don’t know. Well, we know. That’s our job and we’re really, really good at helping you select the best clothing for your photographs.  Clothing that will help you look your very best. We will help you with this.

For example, the wrong clothing can make a person look a lot heavier than they really are and or distract away from their face, which in our opinion should be the focus of the portrait.

We help to explain to all our clients what clothing photographs the best for the portraits they are wanting created.

#2 Photographing Hair

As you know, your hair is a huge part of your appearance. It can make or break how you look. We’ve all had “bad hair days” and if your photographer doesn’t know what he or she is doing, your photographs will look like a permanent “bad hair” day.

One of the things that separates our photography from that of most of the other photographers in the area is that we pay as much attention to the light that is lighting your hair, as we do to the lighting that is illuminating your face.

For example, many seniors who go to other photographers often complain that, if they have dark hair, that their hair seems to disappear into the background. Or, if they have light hair, that their hair has no “life” or detail in the photograph. Or if their hair is brown, that it doesn’t look as great as they wanted it to. It’s not just how they combed or prepared it, it’s how it’s lit in the photograph, too!

Harle Photography gave me plenty of individual attention and helped me choose clothing that matched well with the backgrounds. The prices were affordable as well. Thank You!!!!

Sonia Pautz - Pulaski, WI

Angela & Brad made my senior pictures a lot easier than I thought it would be.  They made me feel very comfortable and they made it a lot of fun. They also were very good to Scruffy, my cat!

Helen Hollister ~ Suamico, WI

I thought getting my pictures taken would be boring, but I actually had a great time taking them.  The session was quick and the pictures turned out great!

Matthew Slick ~ Green Bay, WI

#3 Blemish Removal

If you (or your son or daughter) has some, and who doesn’t, you’re probably worried about whether or not they will show in this portrait.  This portrait is really important, and you want to look REALLY GREAT in it.  So when hiring a photographer to create your portraits see if they include blemish removal or if it is an extra charge.

EVERY image that we present to a client has been touched up to make sure you look your very best!  When you see the portraits we create for you for the first time, we want you to be wowed by the way you look.

I guess that’s another reason that so many seniors and their parents hire us to create their senior portraits. We honestly, sincerely care about how you or your son or daughter will look, and we aren’t going to embarrass you in any way, but we are going to do everything in our power to help you look “like a million bucks” in these portraits, so all your friends are really impressed!

You see, what this all boils down to is you want a photographer who is going to take good care of you. Someone whose only goal is to help seniors look absolutely perfect in their portraits! And that’s what we are all about. Taking the time, and putting forth the effort to spare no expense in helping you look really attractive -better than you’ve ever looked – in your senior photographs!

#4 Work With A Photographer You Feel Comfortable Around

Most seniors don’t understand (or don’t want to admit) that they get nervous in front of a camera. And they don’t know what to do about it. You see, there are over 30 muscles in your face. And if you’re tense, these muscles tense up, and therefore, you won’t like the photographs. You won’t know why you don’t like ’em. You just won’t.

One of the keys to our success in photography, is that we take the time to get to know each of our clients and chat with them about their interests, likes & dislikes, and goals for the future. And what’s the purpose of this? The main purpose of this time with you so you begin to feel comfortable and confident about how you can trust us and take our advice while creating your portraits.

This is going to make an enormous difference in how natural and confident you look on the day of your photography! It’s almost like magic! You will be impressed! We can’t stress this enough.

#5 Don’t Rush Your Session

Most seniors don’t realize that it takes longer than 10 minutes to create outstanding senior portraits. One of the unique things that separates us from many other photographers in the area, is that we take all the time that is necessary to create portraits that you will be proud of.

We understand that this portrait is important to you, so we’re not going to rush through this.  That is why we only book a certain number of sessions per day.  We want to give each person the time that is needed to create their portraits, and we realize that it will take less time for some and more for others.  We book our schedule with enough time to account for this.

#6 Making Sure You Feel Good On The Day of Your Portraits

Most seniors don’t realize that sometimes, “today is just not the day” for their senior portrait to be done. The hair just isn’t right today. Or maybe you didn’t sleep well last night. Or perhaps you’ve had too many stresses at school or home. Or maybe you just had a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend, etc. Well, we understand this. We honestly understand that the day you set up for your photography may end up not being the best day, when it arrives, for whatever reason.

At Harle Photography we have absolutely no problem, whatsoever, with you calling us and rescheduling the session, if “today isn’t the day.” We WANT YOU TO DO THAT!

So, for example, let’s say you end up deciding to have us create your senior portraits, and we set up a time for your session for Tuesday, the 15th at 3:00pm. Well, let’s say you wake up that Tuesday, and just “don’t feel right.” Plus, your hair isn’t cooperating that morning, and you’re really tired, too. Well, you just call us. You say, “Hi, today just isn’t the day. I’m really sorry.” And we will immediately understand and know exactly what you mean. And we will reschedule your session for you – no problem.

Now, we are terribly busy, and we get booked up, BUT, WE DON’T TREAT YOU LIKE A FACTORY.

We understand. We won’t make you feel guilty. Why? Because we’ve been doing this for over 13 years, and know if you don’t feel great on the day you are having your portraits created, you won’t look and feel your best in them.  Your will love your portraits so much more by having them created on a day you feel great!

Harle Photography was great at finding the best way to take the picture and they were really fun to work with and made everything comfortable. Thank You!!!

Jenni Winker ~ Green Bay, WI

I LOVE the way that Harle Photography created my portraits…and if  you still need your portraits you should have them created there!

Elizabeth Stephens ~ Green Bay, WI

Our Experience at Harle Photography was one of professionalism and personalization. Brad and Angela took the time needed to capture Justin’s individualism!  We were thrilled with the results!

Terrie Remington ~ Suamico, WI

#7 Lighting

Seniors (and an awful lot of photographers) don’t realize how important light is in photography.

The wrong light, and the wrong direction of light can add unwanted pounds to you in your portraits, and also, bring out your worst features!

Now, one of the things that separates our photography from a lot of other photographers in the area is that we have studied lighting techniques from many disciplines including other great photographers, artists, and designers.

We are not only photographers but also artist who in our free time like to draw and paint.  In order to show depth in our art we have learned how to see lights and darks and the shapes that build a composition.

This translates into seeing these things as second nature when photographing senior portraits.  The light is the “paint brush” with which we “paint” your senior portrait. It’s very important and helps us make you look your best in the portraits we create. 

#8 Natural Posing

The most important word when it comes to posing is “NATURAL.” You absolutely don’t want to look stiff and fake! One of the most common comments we hear from our clients is how “natural” the portraits look. Our seniors love how good they look, but they also love how “natural” they appear in the images.

We understand that you want to look really great, but also you don’t want to be put into some weird, stupid pose that makes you look stiff and unnatural.

Yes, we will “guide” you so the composition and “look” of the portraits is really great. But we will NOT push you around and try to put you into unnatural positions that are just plain crazy looking.  We will work together to help you look confident, comfortable, and just plain great.

The key thing with posing, is that you look honestly natural. The seniors we photograph tell us all the time how great their photographs look from a point of view of being natural.

#9 The Guarantee

Choose a photographer who GUARANTEES THAT YOU WILL BE REALLY HAPPY – and who will give you all your money back, if you aren’t!

Here’s our guarantee: “You will be THRILLED (not just ‘satisfied’) with your portraits, or we will do whatever is necessary for you to be thrilled, or we will return every penny of your money. No hassles and no hard feelings either.

We want you to be THRILLED with your senior portraits, and will spare no effort or expense to see to it that you are! We absolutely guarantee it!” You see, only a photographer who really believes in their product and service is going to be willing to have such a powerful guarantee. So their guarantee is your first indication of whether or not you want to work with them.

We just can’t stress this enough. Ask about their guarantee. Listen to their reaction. That will tell you if you want to trust your senior portraits to that photographer.

#10 Ask Questions

Ask all the questions you may have when you’re talking with us or another photographer.  We are always glad to share the things we do to help make your portraits great and answer all the questions you have. We want to make sure we are addressing any concerns you have and explain our the process step by step of how we help make happy clients!

Now, if you have read all of this, you certainly learned some about what goes into have great senior portraits created  at our studio and what we think you should look for when hiring a senior portrait photographer.

Now, we may not be the right photographer for you. But the fact that you’re still reading this means we probably are. Because you care enough about learning about what makes great senior portraits and we care a lot about all the things I’ve talked about to you here. But the only way you’ll really know for sure if we are right photographer for you or not is to call us.

So What Should You Do Right Now? Now, while it’s fresh in your mind, pick up the phone, and call us so we can chat on the phone. No charge. No obligation. No sales pitch.

We’re not that kind of studio. We’ll just talk. You can ask us any questions you may have.  We are here to help you in any way we can. But we’re not here to pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do. The decisions are completely up to you.

I really enjoyed working with Harle Photography.  I loved how my pictures turned out.  I enjoyed the variety and uniqueness of my pictures.

Meghan Helmle ~ Sobieski, WI

My son was not looking forward in getting his pictures taken.  Once we got in the studio, Josh had fun and enjoyed the session!  Harle Photography really did a super job of getting Josh to smile and relax.  The pictures turned out really great!  Thanks!

Kelly Haworth ~ Green Bay, WI

I really enjoyed my experience here at Harle Photography.  Everyone is really friendly and very helpful when it comes to having a professional opinion.  THANKS SO MUCH!

Stephanie Tilot ~ Green Bay, WI

If you like everything you hear, we would be glad to reserve a session time for the senior portraits you would like to have created.  We do want to urge you to act soon if you would like Harle Photography to create your senior portraits as our schedule does becomes full as we enter the summer.   We do limit the number of sessions available each day so it is best to call us sooner if you have a demanding summer schedule so that we can find a time that will work best for you (or your son or daughter.)

So if anything I have said here sounded the least bit interesting to you, please give us a call now.  We would love to help you today!


Brad Thalmann & Angela Harle
Professional Senior Portrait Photographers